Rovdjurscentret De 5 Stora

The lynx and the humans

THE LYNX IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE PREDATOR that causes most of the losses for the reindeer farmers. Also, the lynx is the animal causing the Swedish State most money for paying compensations. From 1996 and onwards cattle owners receive compensations based upon the number of rejuvenations in the cattle breeding areas. This system has replaced the sum of money that was paid earlier, per killed animal.

Says Olof Liberg :“Ecologically there is sufficient space for a number of 2 500 lynx living south of lake Mälaren”. Should the lynx establish itself there, it will probably get used to people, the same way foxes and deer have. But such a scenario requires that lynx takes the whole production of deer, leaving nothing to the (human) hunters. And that cannot be defined as acceptable.

RECENT RESEARCH AT THE GRIMSÖ GAME RESEARCH CENTER (VILDSKADECENTER)  has proven that electric fences do constitute a reliable tool to keep the lynx out and away from a corral with sheep. The lynx “density” today is highest in southern Bergslagen and upwards the coast of Norrland. Present research on the lynx theme is carried out in the Jokkmokk mountain area by SLU (Swedish Agricultural University) Umeå and in the Bergslagen area by the Grimsö game Research Center.

 Is the lynx dangerous?

“DURING RECENT YEARS, we have regularly visited places where adult lynx females had their cubs, without having been attacked” relates Olof Liberg, in company with Henrik Andrén, responsible for the Swedish Lynx research.

- The mother, however often makes a courageous and aggressive impression, while growling going to and fro some 10 meters, during the time we examine her cubs. One can hardly imagine a more provocative situation for a wild lynx, and still she does not attack. This should constitute ultimate proof of the fact that lynx’ are not dangerous for humans” concludes Olof Liberg. “There are a number of tales told about lynx’ attacks , but no such case has been documented. This is due to the fact, that the lynx keeps in hiding as long as it is not attacked directly” says Robert Franzén at the Environmental Protection Agency.

In the middle of the Nineties a lynx clawed a sleeve of a man’s coat. Most probably this was a mistake as the lynx was concentrating upon the man’s dog and it was a very dark night. Many dogs are killed by lynx through Norway, Sweden and Finland. This happens mostly while hunting, after that the dog has pursued a lynx. Also, it is not uncommon that a lynx takes a tame cat, when it is offered the opportunity.